Friday, May 28, 2010

Top Ten Things That Are Out To Get My Word Count

In no particular order:
  • Work: A lazy day at the office can be a fine time for an author to sneak a few words in on the side (but only if you're on lunch break and/or have finished your immediate tasks and are waiting for vital input you can't proceed without, naturally). A day at the office where you've got deadlines breathing down your neck and coworkers screaming for some vital piece of data you've forgotten about, not so much.

  • Pets: Nothing stops a good burst of creativity like having a Corgi jump in your lap and throw her head down on the keyboard.

  • Writing Groups: My group of choice,, requires at least two critiques per month for each list you join if you want to stay active (for me that's four crits per month). This sounds trivial, and it is, right up until the end of the month rolls around and you haven't critiqued anything. And your email account has been blacklisted by the list's spam filter.

  • Chores: Do the dishes. Do the laundry. Mow the lawn. Take out the trash. Drag the dog outside for a walk. Repeat ad nauseum.

  • Commuting: I drive an hour each way to get to work, five days a week. That's ten hours per week of prime writing time I'm losing to the stinking Beltway! I've tried dictating material while I'm driving, but transcription is just as much of a time sink, and a pain in the butt besides. (If anyone knows of some affordable transcription software, pipe up.)

  • Exercise: You cannot write while you are on a treadmill, unless you are a much steadier hand than I am. This one gets a pass, since you also can't write while you're in a hospital bed recovering from a quadruple bypass.

  • The Internet: A fountain of information, blind rage, and massive time-wasters. There's no shame in admitting that you need to unplug your Ethernet cable for awhile.

  • Video Games: I'm pretty sure I was a gamer long before I was a writer, although to be fair, I was a reader long before I was a gamer. Regardless, I have an XBox 360 that literally sucks my free time into its plastic black casing.

  • Television: As much of a time sink as video games, but it's possible to ignore this one and get on with the work. (Not recommended, but possible.) Unless of course, you're expected to be paying attention because you're watching with...

  • Family and Friends: Who also get a well-deserved pass, because they're the ones keeping me out of the lunatic asylum most of the time. They also provide love and encouragement and a sympathetic ear and patient tolerance. That last one's especially important when I get snippy over the time I've lost to the other nine things on this list.
Runners up included reading, sleeping and eating - one of which I'm going to go do right now. Good night all.


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